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Tuesday 10th
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

TURKISH officials may have influenced police investigations into allegations of fundraising for supposed terrorist groups, a Kurdish solidarity organisation said yesterday.

Edinburgh counter-terrorism police have confirmed that they are investigating a number of individuals over claims that organisations are being funded from the city.

It is understood that raids across the Scottish capital have focused on those with alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organisation by the British government.

Scottish Solidarity of Kurdistan (SSK) co-convenor Stephen Smellie explained that many people had participated in protests against the arrest and imprisonment of Kurdish activists, journalists and politicians in Turkey since the failed coup on July 15 last year.

He said: “Last year, some Kurdish people in Scotland were contacted by Turkish officials and advised not to support any protests, as this could cause them trouble if they wished to visit Turkey in the future.

“We are concerned that Scottish police are, albeit inadvertently, being used to intimidate and criminalise the Scottish Kurdish community and call on the police and politicians to give reassurances to the Kurdish people that they will not allow the Turkish government to intimidate people in Scotland.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Gerry McLean, Police Scotland’s organised crime and counterterrorism head, said: “As part of a police investigation along with partner agencies, we executed a number of search warrants in relation to financial investigation and suspected fraud.

“Matters have now been reported to the procurator fiscal, and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

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